I love being in an environment where everyone is included and helps each other. Just think back to the gym or running group you joined and how you felt accepted no matter if you were just new or really great at the movements already. It makes you feel like you are part of something special and you want to continue being in the environment because of it! Families should be like that too!
I write this as I constantly see one parent working only with the child that has the same interests as them but what about the other children or parent in the household? How do we lead by example to teach our kids to be responsible for their health, yet have the patience for and include others with varying abilities to them and enjoy family connection?
Everyone likes to be included in what their tribe is doing as long as they have a say and it is FUN! This could mean having a cuppa on a Sunday with your tribe and finding out what ‘fun fitness games’ you can do to be all inclusive and plan out your fitness fun for the week. It might be that one child likes dancing so a playlist of music is set up and a dance-off on your back verandah or in the living room happens, and the other child may love soccer so make up a fun game that involves soccer rules with other fun things that you can all do! It is important to also consider age and ability too so remember to cater for this. Listening to all ideas is really important and the more imagination brought into the conversation, the better! Kids often have the best ideas if you just listen carefully.
The idea behind this is to CONNECT with your family while creating HEALTHY HABITS and leading by example. Make it fun and inexpensive, and don’t give up if it doesn’t always go to plan either as human behaviour can be unpredictable (especially with growing, hormonal kids) so just find the joy in these family and fitness moments.
Here are some tips for the initial family conversation:
- A short conversation of WHY to do it – to have fun and everyone to be well and included!
- An agreement on WHEN to do it – if you only have one day to do it – set out the time and date and write it on your family planner (if you have more time each week, even better!
- A short conversation on the RULES –
- everyone writes down ONE idea each of a sport or game they would like to do or play and WHERE to do them (e.g. back yard, down at the park etc)
- everyone discusses ONE idea at a time and ONE idea is picked for each time that has been set out to have fun. All ideas are written down and times set out for the month.
- everyone SHOWS up!
- the aim of the game is to have FUN with ALL your family, so keep it light-hearted, this is not elite sports!
- Discuss a healthy monthly REWARD for the whole family (e.g. cook a favourite dinner, go to the movies or beach together – something fun for all and PLAN the date.
Yours in Fun,
Stuck for ideas? Our Online Family-Fitness Program can help!